It's a Family Affair

Dearest Friends,    

So many guests over the years have asked me how our family acquired Coconut Court and how long we have owned the hotel so I thought it was about time that I wrote a ‘family tree’ of the Blades family and a little bit about how we got started in the tourism business. I hope that I have not left anything out. Enjoy reading… 

Our dad, Charlie Blades was born and raised in Barbados. His family first arrived here from England way back in 1630. Fast forward please....In the 1950s, Dad moved to Nassau, Bahamas to find work and while there he met a pretty lady from Hamilton Ontario, Canada named Lorraine Allenby. It was not long before the two decided to get married. Their eldest son, my brother James, was born in Nassau in 1964. Shortly after his birth, our parents decided to return to my Dad's homeland, Barbados. Dad had seen the tourism boom in Nassau and he wanted to "try his hand" in the budding tourism industry in Barbados. On returning home, Dad found work as a tour rep, welcoming visitors to the few hotels then operating in Barbados. One of those hotels was Coconut Court! More about that later....

With a lot of hard work and effort, Mum and Dad purchased an old Barbadian home on the beach in St Lawrence Gap, which they renovated into a sixteen-room guest house with a beach bar. They named it "White Sands."Their guest house was a great success with lots of help from their dedicated team which consisted entirely of Front Desk clerk (Vera Worrell), talented bartender (George Broomes), wonderful cook (Ermentha Weekes) and friendly waitress (Claudine Waithe).   

The family grew to include my brothers, Ted and Mark (the twins), my sister Beverly, and me. My Dad continued moonlighting as a tour rep to bring in extra money. In his words; "with five kids to feed, failure was not an option!" One of the hotels that he visited regularly was a South Coast hotel named  the Coconut Court. The hotel was then owned by an eccentric Englishman named Mr. Happy Apthorpe whose wealthy family owned Bejam frozen foods in the UK. Mr Apthorpe genuinely liked Dad, so when he was ready to retire and return to England due to ill health, he asked my Dad to buy the hotel from him. My parents sold White Sands and Dad scraped together the rest of the money needed with help from his elderly relatives and a few friends. In 1975 my parents Charlie and Lorraine Blades purchased Coconut Court Beach Hotel. To this day, my Dad fondly refers to Mr. Apthorpe as his 'godfather' and credits him for giving our family the opportunity of a lifetime. We have never looked back! 

Many years have passed since then, and today the family business is managed by my husband, Jason Lampkin, My brother Mark and I also care for several responsibilities of the day to day operations. Other family members that have joined our team are Nelson (Mark's son), and Katy (James' daughter). Nelson's sister Kia  enjoys painting and some of her fun and colourful artwork (jellyfish and corals) are proudly displayed in many of our guest rooms. My brother Ted and his wide Viada operate the Activities Desk and Ted's Tours (best island tour in Barbados!) Additionally, our eldest brother James conducts very informative tours of the Garrison Historic Area (including the George Washington House) which is located just a few minutes from Coconut Court in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our team members - some of the friendliest people anywhere in the Caribbean - contribute greatly to the wonderful atmosphere and friendly service that our guests enjoy when they visit Coconut Court. We all truly care about your vacaction experience!

Sadly our dear Mum, Lorraine passed away in 2018 but our dad Charlie (fisherman, guitarist and master rumpunch blender) and his wife Jean (renowned local artist whose professional work is proudly displayed in many of our guest rooms ~ coconut trees and local scenes) still live on the island and they are very much a part of the Coconut Court mosaic. Our family has grown over the years with James (Jack, Katy and Ben) and his wife Judy, Ted (Lance Lee, and Scarlett) and his wife Vaida, Mark (Kia and Nelson) and his wife Tristan, Beverly, my husband Jason and me (Laurie and Kim), and Alex (Ember and Eli) and his wife Kadisha. 

Our family tradition of offering genuine, friendly service, clean accomodation and an authentic Caribbean experience that was started by our parents Charlie and Lorraine Blades so many years ago continues to this day at Coconut Court Beach Hotel.We look forward to giving the warmest of welcomes to our new guests and returning friends from all over the world, to enjoy our ‘labour of love” and our island in the sun, beautiful Barbados.  

One Love! Linda Lampkin
on behalf of the Blades Family & the entire Coconut Court Beach Hotel Team